Encapsulated Phase Change Material for Temperature Control and Verification of Solar Disinfection Treatment

Selezneva, Natalie (2018) Encapsulated Phase Change Material for Temperature Control and Verification of Solar Disinfection Treatment. [USQ Project]


Populated areas suffering from drinkable water shortage often use solar water disinfection (SODIS) of rainwater. It is a low cost and relatively effective way to purify rainwater, and Australian climate appears suitable for SODIS implementation. The primary project is to combine SODIS and a safe and straightforward objective of the method of temperature control using phase change material (PCM) to improve SODIS treatment by extending dwell-time of water at high temperature. The basic SODIS method is less effective under poor weather conditions, and it is difficult to estimate whether the water reached the temperature sufficient for antibacterial treatment. An encapsulated PCM can be used to improve SODIS treatment and to produce an affordable visual indicator.

The research was based upon an extensive Literature Review on the following: background information related to SODIS rainwater treatment, drinking water quality standards and commercially available PCM. The PCM capsules and indicators were designed and tested in safe household conditions on a range of water samples in comparison with the basic SODIS treatment. The appropriate temperature and weather data were recorded and analysed. The designed phase change capsules and SODIS indicators were critically evaluated regarding performance and affordability for future use in household conditions.

The experiments confirmed that SODIS treatment does not affect the chemical and physical properties of water. However, contrary to the expected result, it was discovered that none of the samples reached the temperature high enough to eliminate the bacteria and bring rainwater up to drinkable standards. The importance and value of the obtained results are yet to be addressed. The scarcity of resources prevented a full set of SODIS tests and Laboratory examinations planned. It is highly recommended to continue the research and conduct a set of SODIS tests during the summer when the highest atmospheric temperatures are observed.

This project incorporated and applied the knowledge of SODIS treatment and PCM properties to deliver valuable data obtained in climate and weather conditions unique to Queensland. Pending further research, this data can be regarded as ground for widespread implementation of PCM capsules for SODIS treatment.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Mechanical)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Wandel, Andrew
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2022 22:49
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2022 22:49
Uncontrolled Keywords: solar disinfection treatment; rainwater; populated areas;
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/40737

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